A heavyweight Dutch oven is a piece of equipment you’ll have for years. We’ve run extensive tests on Dutch ovens in the test kitchen, and our preferences are clear: Look for a heavy enameled cast-iron pot with a tight-fitting lid. Too-narrow pots make browning a chore, so we prefer Dutch ovens that are at least 8 inches wide and can hold 6 quarts or more. Dark-colored interiors made it hard to monitor browning, so we stick to pots with light interiors.
We have two favorite Dutch ovens in the test kitchen: the gold standard Le Creuset 7¼-Quart Round French Oven, and the more affordable (but still incredibly reliable) Cuisinart 7 Qt. Round Covered Casserole.